U.S. brings it home for fans | VailDaily.com

U.S. brings it home for fans

Ian Cropp
Daily Sports Writer
WC DH Camera Crowd PU 12-2

BEAVER CREEK ” Robby Myer should have warned the other 56 racers about Daron Rahlves before Friday’s downhill race.

“Last night, he had this glow in him,” said Myer, of Truckee, Calif. “I’ve known Daron all his life, and when he’s got that glow, he can’t be beat. I used to compete against him in Jet Ski racing, and when he got that glow, I wouldn’t even bother showing up.”

Myer was one of several passionate Rahlves fans who made the trip to Beaver Creek to see their friend compete before he heads off to Europe.

Like most of the fans crowding around the podium to see first-place finisher Rahlves and second-place finisher, Bode Miller, Myer had trouble describing just how excited he was.

“Do I really need to explain it?” Myer said. “One and two, what could be better?”

And it didn’t matter if you were a best friend, a coach or a skiing fan; everyone was impressed.

“I can’t believe it,” said Bill Reinbold, from Egypt, Wash., of Miller as he waved an American flag. “You never know. One day a DNF, the next day on top. What a performance.”

The crowd began to roar when a green time split flashed on the screen as Rahlves whizzed by the first interval. When coach John McBride saw Rahlves fly by him at that split, he knew the final result would be good.

“When he passed me, to be honest with you, I knew it was on,” McBride said.

Nerves of steel

For some in Rahlves’ contingent, the race was a long-awaited catharsis.

“I’d seen him win before, but then I went to another race, and everything went wrong,” said Junior Wilson. “I never wanted to go to another race because I thought I was bad luck.”

After the race, a frazzled Wilson looked like he had run the race himself.

“I’m relieved,” Wilson said. “I have more stress than (Daron) does. I get so nervous I don’t want to deal with it. From this morning when Daron was putting his boots on, he was telling me, ‘It’s on,’ but I wouldn’t even talk to him. Daron’s wife was with us, and she thinks (my nervousness) is the funniest thing ever.”

Earlier in the week, Rahlves mentioned how excited he was that his friends and family were coming to see him race.

Friday, after putting on a show, he lent some credit to his supporters.

“I’ve gotta step it up a little more when they are here,” Rahlves said.

And while Reinbold doesn’t know Wilson or Rahlves personally, they all should make an acquaintance sometime soon.

“The only other race I’ve been to was in Bormio, Italy, when Bode and Daron were one and two there,” Reinbold said. “Maybe, the U.S. team will sponsor me.”

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or icropp@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado

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